Hector: a new multi-object integral field spectrograph instrument for the Anglo-Australian Telescope

Julia J. Bryant, Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Jon Lawrence, Barnaby Norris, Seong-Sik Minh, Rebecca Brown, Adeline Wang, Gurashish Singh Bhatia, Will Saunders, Robert Content, Ross Zhelem, Sudharshan Venkatesan, Mahesh Mohanan, Peter Gillingham, Robert Patterson, David Robertson, Naveen Pai, Helen McGregor, Jessica Zheng, Sam VaughanCaroline Foster, Sergio Leon-Saval, Scott Croom

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

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Based on the success of the SAMI integral field spectrograph (IFS) instrument on the Anglo-Australian Telescope (AAT), the capacity for large IFS nearby galaxy surveys on the AAT is being substantially expanded with a new instrument, Hector. The high fill-factor imaging fibre bundles ‘hexabundles’, of the type used on SAMI, are being improved and enlarged to cover 27-arcsec diameter. The aim is to reach 2 effective radii on most galaxies, where the galaxy rotation curve flattens and half of the angular momentum is accounted for. The boosted Hector spectral resolution of 1.3 Angstrom will enable higher order stellar kinematics to be measured on a larger fraction of galaxies than with any other IFS survey instrument. Hector will have 21 hexabundles over a 2-degree field feeding both the new Hector spectrograph and existing AAOmega spectrograph. Hector consists of new blue and red-arm spectrographs, coupled to the new high- efficiency hexabundles and a unique robotic positioner. The novel robotic positioning concept will compensate for varying telecentricity over the 2-degree-field of the AAT to recoup the light loss and correct the focus across the field. The main components are in hand, and prototypes are currently being tested ahead of commissioning in the next year. Hector will take integral field spectroscopy of 15,000 galaxies with z < 0.1 in the 4MOST WAVES-North and WAVES-South regions. The WAVES data, which will come later, will give the environment metrics necessary to relate how local and global environments influence galaxy growth through gas accretion, star formation and spins measured with Hector. The WALLABY ASKAP survey will trace HI gas across the Hector fields, which in combination with Hector will give a complete view of gas accretion and star formation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
EditorsChristopher J. Evans, Julia J. Bryant, Kentaro Motohara
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510636828
ISBN (Print)9781510636811
Publication statusPublished - 13 Dec 2020
EventGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII - Virtual, United States
Duration: 14 Dec 202022 Dec 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceGround-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VIII
Country/TerritoryUnited States

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2020 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • IFU
  • Hector
  • IFS
  • hexabundles
  • fibre positioner
  • AAT
  • spectroscopy


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